Wide Awake And Beautiful: Coffee in Berlin

Foxyhund - Photo by Sophie. 

Berlin based Cold Brew, Brewhund, has found an innovative way to bring the benefits of caffeine from your cup to your body. For most of us the morning starts after our first sip of coffee. It is the fuel that invigorates our minds for the day. Now Berlin based cold brewer, Brewhund, is migrating the caffeine hit from our mugs to our showers with their new coffee based body scrub, Foxyhund. They created the tonic as an innovative way to recycle the used coffee grounds from their cold brew and bring something new to Berlin’s blooming coffee scene.

In the spirit of the Berlin start up scene, long time friends Mathew Johnson and Jonas Meßing created Brewhund after three years of working with coffee in Berlin. During this time Mathew and Jonas have seen the coffee style change dramatically. Beginning with the traditional Italian style or ‘first wave’ it morphed to the ‘second wave’ trend of defining the enjoyment of specialty coffee to the most recent trend, ‘third wave,’ or artisan style coffee, with a strong focus on the origin, type and flavour of the coffee bean. It is this phase that helped shaped the boys’ original business plan.
 ‘Originally we wanted to do a cold filter/pour over business and sell it at local markets. It was just a way to use our knowledge of third wave coffee and have some fun with it. However after looking into the different avenues, we decided to alter course and go with a cold brew because it’s higher in caffeine and lower in acidity; it was something we’d never tried before,’ Mathew said.

After a lot of research and a bottle of whiskey the pair decided to take the plunge and order the equipment to make their idea a reality. ‘We had been talking about the business for a couple of weeks and one night we got really drunk and excited together and started properly looking into all the products and equipment. We decided to order 200 jars to package the cold brew and go for it,’ Mathew said.

Once they had packaged their first batch they decided to try their luck selling the cold brew in cafes across Berlin. ‘Initially we sold it through cafes by only asking for a margin of the products actually sold. It sold really well and we had places want to stock it full time,’ Mathew said.
Their efforts and leap of faith paid off and Brewhund is now sold regularly in cafes across Berlin.

Brewhund - Photo by Sophie. 

‘We’re stocked in Cozys, Breadshop, Neu Deli Yoga, Gracia and Fast Rabbit-so we’ve got Brewhund in cafes all around Berlin, from Friedrichshain, Prenzlauerberg, Neukolln and Moabit,’ Jonas said.
Brewhund is all about keeping it local and the guys say that Berlin roasters Bonanza has been a great help with this and helping their business get off the ground. ‘We use local Berlin roasters Bonanza and they’ve been really great to us; they gave us a shelf at their stall during the Berlin Coffee Festival which gave us a platform to hand out a lot of information about Brewhund and give people a chance to try it,’ Jonas said.

After the Berlin Coffee Festival the boys noticed an increase interest in Brewhund. With an increase in production they decided to get an industrial workspace in Neukolln. It was during this time that the pair realised they had an excess of coffee grounds. The quality of it wasn’t hindered by the cold brew process and so it seemed like a waste to just throw it away. ‘FoxyHund was an idea that Mat’s housemate suggested when we were discussing ways to reuse the coffee grounds. She said we should look into turning it into a coffee body scrub, it was something neither of us had heard of before,’ Jonas said.

The boys never envisioned themselves moving into the beauty industry; however they were intrigued by the idea of using ground coffee for aesthetic benefits. After some research they found there are real health and beauty benefits and decided to run with the idea.

They brought in friend and fellow coffee enthusiast, Alice Dundon, to help them with the creation and production of the coffee based body scrub, Foxyhund. ‘Coming from Australia these kinds of products are easy to get, in markets, stores and online: however I couldn’t find anything similar in Berlin so when the boys came to me with the idea I thought it was great!’ Alice said.

Jones, Alice and Mathew - Photo by Sophie. 

For Alice the idea of nourishing your skin with coffee was normal as she had created her own small coffee beauty business before she left Australia. ‘I’d made a similar product when I lived in Australia with a friend studying nutrition so we started with that recipe and tweaked bits here and there to ensure everything was as locally sourced and organic as possible and I’m really happy with what we’ve come up with,’ Alice said.

The trio has immersed themselves in the third wave coffee scene of Berlin and see Foxyhund as just another avenue of artisan coffee.  ‘We’ve all worked in coffee for years and we are really into third wave coffee in Berlin. For us Foxyhund is just another arm of the really vibrant and diverse scene here,’ Alice said.

When asked about future goals for their company, the trio are extremely coy, musing that for the moment they are just enjoying working together on products they’re passionate about. ‘We just have fun with it, I’m really blessed I get to work with two of my best friends. We all love coffee and love what we’re making so we are happy we’re able to make such quality and organic products in Berlin for Berliners,’ Alice said.

Brewhund and Foxyhund are both available online at brewhund.com

By Charlie Winter 

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